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America: The Hostage

Ever since Donald J. Trump took the presidential oath of office on January 20, 2017, he has been holding Americans hostage in one way or another. He isn’t doing it alone; he has the full support of the Republican party.

Let’s review some of our hostage situations.

Healthcare Hostages

The day he was sworn in, Trump took aim at the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He eliminated the mandate for people who failed to have insurance if one was not provided by their employer. The elimination of the mandate resulted in the current situation where a court may soon determine that some or all of the ACA is invalid.

Congress jumped on the Trump bandwagon in 2018 and attempted to repeal the healthcare law, with no viable option for the 24 million people who would lose their health insurance.

They failed in this attempt thanks to one of their own, the late Sen. John McCain.

Holding Government Employees Hostage

The Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 mid-term elections. This rebuke of his policies was met with anger so who did he take it out on?

Innocent federal employees.

On December 22, 2018 Trump held them all hostage when he shut down the government by refusing to approve an appropriations bill because it did not meet his $5.7 billion funding demand for a U.S. – Mexican border wall. This affected approximately 800,000 federal workers with the majority remaining on the job with no pay.

With impeachment looming over his head, there is speculation that Trump will shut the government down again on November 21. If he was responsible for the longest shutdown in history because the GOP lost the house, imagine what he will do now under the threat of impeachment.

Immigrant Hostages

The Trump administration was blocked from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as he promised in 2017, and the case is now being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Trump stacked court decides in his favor, these hardworking young immigrants will be subject to deportation to countries they have never been to. Some may not even speak the language.

Trump’s “immigration reform” now targets legal immigrants as well by denying green card holders from obtaining citizenship if they take advantage of public benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps or housing assistance.

Immigrants recruited under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program were promised citizenship for their service. Trump’s ICE force is now ramping up deportation of these troops, and their families, who came here specifically to fight for the U.S.

Almost Every American is a Hostage

The hostage list seems endless. Victims of domestic violence relying on protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) currently being held up by the GOP Senate, American farmers who are going bankruptdue to tariffs and American seniors having their Social Security benefits cut and paying more with Medicarechanges proposed by Trump’s administration.

But the biggest hostage of all is Mother Earth. Climate change denials, rolling back rules on manufacturers to allow pollutants into the air and water again and now the EPA is limiting scientific research the government uses when it looks at public health regulations.

Where does it end?

It ends when the American people rise up at the polls in 2020 and say, in the words of Albert Finney’s character in the film Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”

It’s time to stop being hostages and take back control.

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Hostage! Yes that is the way I certainly feel

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